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ISLAMABAD: Over 2,115 student Fellows on Thursday graduated from the PepsiCo-supported Career-Prep Fellowship being conducted by Amal Academy. The 2022 graduation ceremonies for the programme were held in Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar, where regional graduating Fellows were present.

Educationist, child rights advocate and artist Shehzad Roy was the keynote speaker at the Karachi ceremony, and General Manager of Pakistan Beverages Limited Agha Muhammad Khan was the guest of honour.

At the Lahore ceremony, respected businessman, philanthropist and educationist Syed Babar Ali was the guest of honour, joined by Khurram Shah, director for public policy and government affairs at PepsiCo Pakistan.

Syed Babar Ali in his speech reminded all Fellows to leverage the power of their cohort and learn from each other to excel in their personal and professional lives. Speaking at the Lahore event, Khurram Shah, Director Public Policy & Government Affairs at PepsiCo Pakistan congratulated Amal Academy and said, “At PepsiCo Pakistan, we believe in nurturing and supporting young talent to create meaningful opportunities for new change makers. Our engagement with Amal Academy is a part of our agenda to create future leaders, and I am proud of the graduating fellows. They have taken a transformative journey in the past year that will help them become more confident and socially responsible young professionals who can take on the challenges of working in a rapidly changing world that demands sustainability and radical thinking.”

Ali Siddiq, CEO Amal Academy, thanked PepsiCo and the partner universities for their companionship and vision in supporting the fellowship. Congratulating the fellows he said, “I hope the fellowship has helped you experience how much power we each hold to impact the world. I’m proud to see all you’ve accomplished in the fellowship and am excited for what you hold in store for the future. Today is yours, and so is tomorrow - take charge of it and build what you wish to see!”

The Amal Career-Prep Fellowship is a 3-month leadership programme focused on developing the mindsets (purpose, self-efficacy, resilience, etc.) and job skills (confidence, interviewing, CV writing etc.) of underserved students entering the job market. The PepsiCo Foundation has been supporting Amal Academy since October 2018. The partnership, now in its fourth year, has created mentorship opportunities for over 7,514 total graduates, out of which 3,185 graduates (42% of total) are women.

According to graduate surveys, the 166 batches over 12 semesters have created more than 75,000 indirect beneficiaries as 85% of employment-seekers are successful in finding jobs within 3-months of Fellowship. A 62% increase in average household income has been recorded post-Fellowship, where Fellows have reported 63% improvement in skills, including 72% improvement in initiative-taking, 81% in interviewing, and 60% in confidence and problem-solving.

Alvia Khan, Amal Fellow from Batch 212 in Karachi added, “Before joining Amal I was unsure of my path in the corporate world. There were no career plans or path to follow, and I didn't even know the difference between a job and a career. But it would not be wrong to say that Amal has changed my life! I used to get rejected in job interviews because I didn’t really know the dos and don’ts of an interview. And after the Amal-Career Prep Fellowship, I was having job offers and luckily I am now working with a UK-based recruiting firm as their sourcing consultant.”

The graduation ceremony in Karachi was held earlier at the ICCBS Auditorium, University of Karachi. The Lahore ceremony was held in the University of Engineering and Technology Auditorium. The Peshawar event was held at the University of Peshawar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022


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